Sammy says a Stroke Strategy is needed :
Strokes are the largest cause of disability in the UK. Each year 152,000 people suffer strokes and there are now 1.2m stroke survivors living in the UK. Northern Ireland has a higher proportion of stroke victims than many other areas of the UK. Each patient costs the NHS £23,315 a year.
There is a need for a strategy to ensure that treatment for strokes is more even across the country. Sadly the consultation on a strategy in Northern Ireland has now been stopped because of the fall of the Assembly and regardless of what form of government we have in future, this is an issue which needs to be taken forward.
The main issues which need to be addressed are
· A reorganisation of stroke services
· A drive for new advances in treatments which reduce disability in stroke victims and save money in social service costs
· Improve support services for stroke survivors when they return home enabling them to make a fuller recovery and return to a better quality of life
· Address the unacceptable variations in treatment and care which seems to be determined on where an individual lives.